July 2021 Archives

Ep. 96 Four Crucial Touchpoints For Your Customer

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Hi everyone, this is Julie. Welcome back to the Create Your Laptop Life podcast. Today I want to talk about the four most critical touchpoints you need to make with your customer when they become a customer.

So a lot of us, you know, in marketing we get excited about marketing and we forget that marketing actually drips into delivery and the better you are at delivering a great experience the better you are at delivering what you say you’re going to deliver, the more likely they are to buy in the future, the more likely they are to give great testimonials, and the more likely they are to share with their friends. So there are four key things you have to think about when someone becomes a customer. And this is something I teach a lot of people.

And so the first is the order confirmation form. And this is a form that, you know, is a page in the funnel that a lot of people don’t pay any attention to. It’s the page that happens after they check out, right. So we spend all this time on the sales page and we spend all this time on the order form, and then it’s the order confirmation form and it’s like “Meh, thanks. Check your email, blah blah blah”, right. But you have such an incredible opportunity on that page to actually create a customer for life.

Does that mean a video? Does that mean help getting started? Does that mean an important next step? What is it that you’re going to tell them on that order confirmation form? And if there is at all, any confusion or any complexity to how to how they get access to what they just purchased, it’s even more important that you have that order confirmation form really dialed in.

So we actually just redid our order confirmation form on or FG funnels to really kind of create that important touchpoint for people who just signed up for our software. And so if you sign up for FG funnels you will see the order confirmation page has a lot of information on it and it actually gets started with your onboarding, and set up of your account right then and there.

So go through all of your funnels and offers and look at that order confirmation page. What’s the very first thing that they see after they make a purchase and how can you optimize that to make sure that they don’t have buyer’s remorse, that they feel excited about their purchase, and that you get a connection point in.

The second crucial touchpoint that you cannot forget is the fulfillment email. This is the email that fires, that acts as your receipt. Now remember, we’re always, as marketers, battling open rates on email, right. And we’re lucky if we get 20%, and we’re thrilled if we get 30%, but there are several emails that get higher than 30% consistently and the fulfillment email is one of those.

And so you’re going to get 50, 60, all the way up to 90% open rates on a fulfillment email, because people are looking for that critical information about what to do next. So don’t waste the opportunity to really create rapport. So if you have a fulfillment email, great. Make sure you put all of the really pertinent information right there, but make sure you think about what can you from a conversational standpoint, from a marketing standpoint, can you put in that email knowing that it is going to get opened and read?

The third incredibly crucial touchpoint, when you are selling to a customer, is that first interaction with your product. So if we are talking about a course or a coaching program or anything that is digital, it is going to be that first lecture. So, you know, just to give you some tangible examples, if you sign up for Course Chemist, you’re going to get a “Welcome to Course Chemist”, which is going to be sort of explaining how the program works and what you can expect. If you sign up for something like Digital Insiders, which is a mastermind, you’re going to get an email that gives you all kinds of important instructions on how to get in touch with the coaches and how to get into the Facebook group.

So that first lecture, that first sort of touch point, whether it’s with a human being, whether it’s with a member’s area, or wherever it happens to be, you want to make sure that that also has that human element and that rapport building.

So we’ve talked about the order confirmation form, the fulfillment email, and that first lecture. The last crucial touchpoint has to do with wherever that customer is hanging out once they become your customer. For most of you it is a Facebook group. Now for some of you it might be a Slack channel, it may be a Voxer group, it may be on Zoom, but for the majority of you you’re going to have Facebook groups. You should always have a pinned announcement welcome post in your Facebook group that is that orienting post, so that when they jump into a community that they haven’t been a part of, they’re going to feel like, “okay, I know what to do”.

Now, these onboarding elements may seem obvious, but when you’re in the middle of building out a launch and you’re marketing, a lot of these things kind of get left by the wayside, just because you’re so busy making sure the order form works, and making sure, you know, the emails fire right, and it’s very easy to skip over these things. But these are the things that actually make a difference.

And you know I just came back from Disney World and I was reminded of this idea of these details because… when you go to Disney World, and you go into the Nemo ride, right, even the queue, even the line, even the little like sort of railings that you walk and kind of weave in and out of, are themed, right? It’s these very small, subtle details that actually is what makes Disney, Disney.

So you’re in the Nemo queue, and the lights are blue and it feels like you’re underwater, and the railings look like rusted old pipes that, you know, from a shipwreck, and they look like they have seaweed on them. And that’s the difference between that, versus a ride where you’re just kind of standing out in the heat of the sun and everything is just metal and, you know, there’s no thought to detail.

And if you look at, kind of, the empire that Disney is, and how much more it can command in pricing and what people are willing to pay versus just, you know, a country fair or your local theme park, the details that are small are actually the things that make the most difference.

So as you’re going through your onboarding process, think about those four crucial touchpoints, right. The order confirmation page, the fulfillment email, that first lecture, and that pinned post in the Facebook group, and ask how you can make it more like the way Disney would do it. And watch as your customers feel really happy and proud that they bought what they bought from you, how they feel accepted and welcomed and cared for, and what that actually does to your business bottom line. Thanks guys, talk to you soon.

Ep. 95 The Difference Between Group Coaching + A Mastermind

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Hey everyone, Julie here. And today I want to talk to you about the differences between a group coaching program and a mastermind and how to tell which one would be best for you.

So I have run both and continue to run both group coaching programs and masterminds. And I believe that the terms are very interchangeable as they are used in everyday vernacular, but I see them quite differently. And I think that these differences are, you know, important enough to help you really dial in what it is you’re looking for, from a lifestyle perspective, and from an offer container perspective.

So let’s start with a group coaching program. Now, a group coaching program has a start and end date. And it is usually surrounding one particular sort of objective, that objective could be large, it could include a lot of other things. So for example, you could have a group coaching program that would help people get to, you know, $100,000 in sales, and maybe that would be a one year group program, and you work through and so that would be sort of a big general group program.

But more often than not, the group programs I see that work really well are a little bit shorter in duration, you know, usually three months or six months, and they surround one particular strategy or objective that you’re trying to do in your business. And the reason why group coaching programs are so awesome is that, number one, they have an end date. So if you ever get a cohort, or a group that you’re not super excited about, or that the energy is not quite there, then you can end that group. And then you can start another one. The second reason why group programs are awesome is that they because of that start and end date, they also have some built in scarcity and urgency built in. Scarcity is usually around the limited number of seats available in a group program. And then the urgency is that you start at a given time.

Now group programs can be rolling admission. So you can have a group program that sort of open all the time and people join whenever they want, you do lose some of the scarcity and urgency in that but you could, you know, sort of overcome that with sales calls and applications and, you know, make it a little hard for people to join and then get people in. The danger, I think, with the ongoing group coaching programs that that don’t have a start and stop is that I noticed that people, the owners, or the head of the program can sometimes get really tired of it. Because it’s exhausting to keep up a dynamic in the group. And then you have new people. And sometimes if the screening or the salesperson isn’t super clear, you can get people in the group that aren’t a good fit and can drag the group down. And so those evergreen group programs are a little bit more complicated. And so this is why usually, for someone who’s just starting out, transitioning from one to one to one to many, I really recommend live programs that have that start and end date.

So that’s a group coaching program. Now a mastermind is different, a mastermind can be a set point in time, right, it can be for one particular season. But the idea behind a mastermind is that you’re pulling people together, who are going to come together for the sake of helping each other make your business better. And so there’s a real group dynamic, which means it’s a little bit more like hosting a party, you want to know who to invite, you want to make sure everyone’s having a good time, you kind of want to like work with a room and introduce people, there’s a lot more relational dynamics in connecting going on. And if you think of this as kind of like a spider web, a mastermind is a very intricate web of all these different dynamic relationships, almost kind of creating this tapestry or this net. Whereas a group coaching program, it’s more vertical, you know, that each person coming in is really connecting to the leader and or the coach. And that’s really what they’re paying for. And so that’s sort of kind of how that all how that all functions.

And so in a mastermind, you get the added benefit of that group dynamic, you also get the added responsibility of that group dynamic, because you want to avoid cliques, you want to avoid drama, you know, you want to kind of keep the group curated in such a way that you don’t have one, you know, idiot who’s you know, drunk in the corner causing a scene, you know, kind of using that party analogy.

And so a mastermind has usually, you know, prerequisites and requirements for entry, and it has that sense of permanency. So the two examples that I can give you right now are Launch Gorgeous, is a classic group coaching program. It starts and stops, it runs twice a year. It’s three months, there’s that built in scarcity and urgency getting people into the group working in the program. And of course, there’s a lot of great relationships in the group program, but really people are joining to get the strategy, the results and the coaching that Funnel Gorgeous provides for that particular program. That’s a three month program and it runs at $3,000.

The mastermind that I currently run is Digital Insiders, this has been an operation as an evergreen ongoing mastermind for four years, it is a much higher ticket program, it is much more labor intensive program than Launch Gorgeous, I actively spend about 30 hours a week, you know, working with people in the group and creating that environment. So it’s, it’s almost residential, and it’s feel people come to move in, you know, to the mastermind to get to know people. There is a coaching program component in Digital Insider. So, I whenever I’m talking about it, I say to people, you know, this is a mastermind, but there is a coaching program layered on top of it. And so in that regard, I’ve added a lot of those, you know, coaching components.

So, if you’re the kind of personality of someone who loves to loves new ideas, and new projects, a group program is going to be a better option for you. Because you’re going to have that start and stop, you’re going to have the shorter time period, you’re going to get fresh new people. If you’re the kind of person who loves to create community, you love to nurture relationships, you love to kind of create that sense of, you know, place for people, and you love making introductions, hosting dinners, you know, just like that sort of host mentality a mastermind is going to be something you’re more attracted to. But from a bandwidth perspective, mastermind is much, much more labor intensive than a group coaching program.

Now, both are very profitable types of programs to run, they are not infinitely scalable, the way courses and memberships are, but they can generate tremendous amounts of revenue. Our Launch Gorgeous program generates anywhere between three to three and $500,000 every time we run it. So if you kind of do the math, and you were running a you know that program twice a year, you could run a million dollar business with just two three month, programs a year, the mastermind right now, my mastermind is $25,000 for the year and has a max of 100 participants at any given time. And so that’s gonna run at about a $2 million a year business.

That business though is much more expensive, because we have two weeks of in person events, I have coaches on staff that I’m paying, you know, a good amount of money to. And so that has a lot more labor costs than the Launch Gorgeous program, which you know, is shorter in duration. So I hope that gives you kind of some idea of the differences between them. And really, when you’re looking at the core result or the problem that you’re trying to solve, there are problems that are big and complex and need a lot of time and energy and space and a mastermind might be a better place for those problems to get solved.

And then there are problems that are very specific or problems that have very clear start and stops and milestones in which a group coaching program might be better. So I hope that helps. And I appreciate you all and I’ll talk to you soon.

Ep. 94 Covid 19 Landed My Daughter In The Hospital

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Hey everyone, this is Julie and today’s podcast episode is going to be personal. It’s been a while since I’ve done podcast, but for those of you guys who follow me on this feed, you know that I am the most inconsistent podcaster ever. So it’s been kind of a crazy couple of weeks, I had my digital Insider’s mastermind at the end of May. And that was the first time really getting together with a group of people post COVID. And, of course, I got sick with a cold afterwards.

And then what seemed to happen is I don’t know if mercury went into retrograde or what but I had a string of sort of medical emergencies in my family for the next several weeks. You know, obviously, me getting sick wasn’t a big deal. It was just annoying. But then my husband hurt his back and ended up in the hospital, my daughter had an ATV accident. We had an ambulance at our house twice in one week, which was really fun. Then, my son graduated high school, he got really sick because it was the first time he had hung out with a bunch of people. Then we went to Disney World, Eden got sick, William got sick, and then Ellie came down with COVID.

And for those of you who have been following me for a while, I spent an entire year really following a lot of the top scientists and epidemiologists on the COVID pandemic, and even running a Facebook group giving daily takeaways as it was going. And I have to say that I really had kind of run out of words to say about it, I had run out of worry, you know, I had gotten vaccinated. And I just told myself, it was time for me to kind of move on, you know, when I stopped posting takeaways, and I stopped following the scientists, and I really wanted my children to get vaccinated, but I am divorced and couldn’t get my ex husband to agree. And so they weren’t vaccinated. So when Ellie came down with COVID, all of it kind of came screaming back.

And so I’ll just tell you my story. This is my this is my running with COVID, you know, and on Friday evening, July 2, Ellie was laying on the couch and said, Mom, I’m cold. She had no symptoms other than just feeling cold. And so I took her temperature and it was over 101 degrees. And I said, Okay, get a mask on, go get in your bed. We had company over we had my sister and her husband and her three unvaccinated kids. There’s a lot of people in the house. We isolated her immediately. And on Saturday, she had a low grade fever. She had Tylenol and Advil, so it wasn’t a big deal. She had no symptoms other than this fever. In fact, I started to think maybe this was an ear infection, a UTI, possibly Lyme. You know, we live in the woods. And so on Sunday morning, I went to go wake her up and she was crying in her bed, her fever was back up over 101. And she was coughing, and said, Mom, it hurts to even move my fingers.

So I don’t know, what prompted me to just all of a sudden decide maybe this is COVID. But that was my first thought, even though I’d sort of kind of put it out of my mind. And I ran to CVS, and I purchased one of those at home kits that binocs now it’s the Abbott at home kit, I would encourage you to get a couple that wasn’t that hard. You just read the instructions that are really isn’t that hard. And it was positive within I don’t know, minutes, they say don’t read the test for at least 15 minutes between 15 and 30. And within five it was just blaring pink. Obviously, this was sort of my nightmare coming true because I had spent basically 18 months in some modified or extreme quarantine I had, you know, taken my kids out of school. And even still, I could not protect Ellie.

And I knew that she would probably be okay. But still it was like okay, not only does my child now have a serious virus, but I am her primary caregiver. Her dad is not vaccinated, I’m going to have to continually come face to face with what was one of my greatest anxieties. And in full transparency when the pandemic first started back in March of 2020. I was a wreck. And I struggle with anxiety. I have an anxiety disorder. And now here I was like, basically like hey COVID Nice to meet you. So and not to mention the fact I had other kids to protect but you know I didn’t react the way I thought I would I was actually quite calm, which was funny, because in the anticipation of it for the last year, I was freaking out. So I think that this sort of lesson that keeps coming back to me over and over and over again is that anxiety tells you you’re not going to be okay. It creates this agitation or this fear of what it’s going to feel like when that nightmare scenario comes true. But then when that nightmare scenario does come true, the grace and the strength that you need is there, the adrenaline is there and you’re able to navigate it way better in reality than you are when you’re anticipating it. And it’s just another sort of reminder of how worthless anxiety actually is.

So, for the first three days, so Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, we did everything that you’re supposed to do at home, we kept her isolated we I used to mask when I went in and out of her room, always wash my hands. When I left the room. I checked her O2 twice a day, I checked her temps, we did the Tylenol in the Advil, the vitamin C, the Mucinex, all that kind of stuff. And her O2 stayed at 98, 97, Sunday and Monday and then on Tuesday it dipped into around 96. Still, though not problematic if you’re if you know anything about O2, as long as you’re over 95 It’s fine. But there’s just this little voice in my head that said, I’m noticing a little bit of a shift. Her temp was slowly coming down each day was no longer up at 101. So a Wednesday morning when I woke up to go in. I was expecting, you know, a 99 fever I was expecting O2 to hold steady. And instead what I found was Ellie with a temp of just about 103. She was nauseous. She was feverish, she was coughing. She was having kind of a lot of gastrointestinal issues. She had a runny nose, and she was not okay. And her O2 was around 93. And I called the pediatrician and the pediatrician wouldn’t see her inside, it was like 90 degrees that day.

And so we were driving and of course, her pediatrician is still where we used to live. So it’s like a 40 minute drive. And so we’re driving the 90 degree heat she’s nauseous as all get out, and we got to the pediatrician and we’re in the parking lot. And my gas tank goes to almost empty. So now my fuel light is on. And they’re having me sit in the parking lot with the AC running in my car for like 30 minutes. And I’m like, I’m gonna run out of gas. So I had to turn the car off. And now Ellie is like, Mom, I can’t be in the heat. So here I was, I had a picnic blanket in the trunk, I grabbed the picnic blanket, set it up over underneath the tree. And Ellie was laying down and out comes the pediatrician and full PPE, gear out under the tree to give my daughter an exam in the heat to see what to do. And it was just a very, very surreal moment, I think right at that moment. I flashback to like every Facebook conversation and comment that I had ever had with any kind of COVID conspiracy theorist and anti-masker, anti-vaxxer. And I was just furious. I was so furious. And I felt like, this is exactly what I was, what I was trying to communicate to people about COVID for that year was that this is a serious virus, even if you are a healthy teenager with no pre existing conditions.

So the doctor, listen, they looked at her O2 was 93. And she looked at me and she said, this is the sickest kid we’ve seen in months. I was like, “That’s awesome, great.” And she told me that she was not quite at that cost to be admitted to the hospital because 93 is still kind of on the verge. But that now I had to check her O2 every hour and if it dipped below that we would have to go. So I brought her home. 40 minute drive home, and I started checking her every hour and by 2pm her 93 had gone down to 92.

So he went to the ER and in the ER, they hooked her up to the monitor in her the monitor at the ER was about 95 so they I thought okay, they’re not going to admit us, you know, maybe my pulse ox is a little extra trigger happy or what have you. And her fever was down because of the Motrin. And so the nurse was kind of like, I’m not sure like she’s really sick, but I’m not sure it’s enough to keep her so they came in to do an X ray. And the mental game of sitting there with Ellie with just a little surgical mask on when they’re all coming in with PPE was so stressful because I was like, oh my god like I’m just like licking COVID for fun over here and all these people are coming in all decked out. And I know why and I know the protocol and everything but there was just a lot of mental games I had to play with myself to kind of keep my To keep me in the game here.

So they came in, they did the X ray. And my hospital does like text updates. And so within 10 minutes after the X ray, I got a text that says your child has been admitted to the hospital, even though no doctor had come in yet. And so I thought, Well, okay, shit, this is, you know, they looked at her X ray, and it wasn’t good. And at that point, the doctor came in said, we’re going to do an echo, we’re going to do an ultrasound, we’re going to draw blood. And I thought, Okay, well, whatever they saw on the X ray, you know, kind of set things in motion. So sure enough, the doctor finally came in and said, she has the classic, classic COVID lungs, classic pneumonia for COVID, the glassy opacities, or whatever they say, on her X ray, you know, it’s crazy, just looking at her X ray. And then remembering all the X rays that I looked at on Twitter for the last year. And I was like, that’s exactly what they were warning me about.
So she was admitted. And they told me that I couldn’t leave. If I wanted to stay with her. I had to stay and couldn’t leave. Of course, I was not prepared for that. And I said, Well, I need to go home. I need some things. I also need to sleep. Also not sure that spending 24 hours a day, in a hotel room, or a hospital room with someone who has COVID is such a good idea. So like I was going to go home and sleep and then come back and they said, “No, you can’t.” So now we were in this sort of horrible, like, no win situation. And I talked to Ellie and I said, Honey, you know, keep you on FaceTime. Let me go home, and see if I can sneak into the hospital and break the rules.

And so I left her that evening, around 10 or 11, she fell asleep. And the next day, things sort of escalated her O2 dipped down into the 80s. They started Remdesivir they started Dexamethazone, they ended up giving her Lovenox for clots, they did a CT scan, and she spent Wednesday to Sunday in the hospital. She did need oxygen, she’d never needed a ventilator or anything like that. And she’s home now. And she’s doing better her fever has been gone for quite a while, but her cough persists. One of the interesting things is that what we think of when we think of COVID, you know, it’s a disease that affects the entire body, from you know, hair falling out to nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, to messing with your hormone cycles, you know, getting your period like completely at the wrong time. So there’s dizziness, breathlessness and all that kind of stuff.

And so I feel incredibly grateful that Ellie is okay. I feel grateful that we happened to get COVID at a time when the hospitals weren’t overflowing with COVID patients, and we were able to get the care that we needed. And none of the other six children that were in the house have shown symptoms. So I you know, I understand everyone is tired of COVID. But it’s still here, it’s still among us. It’s still dangerous. And at the timing of this recording the cases, the case counts are actually going up in the United States. And this is because we have a large swath of our country that is not vaccinated. And even though a lot of people are like, Oh, well, it’s the tale of two countries, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, what’s really happening is the virus is continuing to mutate in the unvaccinated population.

And so this is just sort of my PSA, that number one, pay attention, it’s not over number two, your kid can get sick and can land in the hospital. And three, if you are the kind of person who struggles with anxiety, let this be a lesson that once you are in the situation you fear you have strength and that you didn’t know you had which means that anxiety is really not preparing you for the moment. It’s really just depleting you for the moment. So as always, I appreciate you all and I will talk to you soon.

The Day My Nightmare Came True

On Sunday morning, July 4th, while most of America was waking up to talk about barbecues and fireworks, I found myself in my daughter Ellie’s room – with an at home Covid test in hand.

She was crying, coughing, and said, “Mom it hurts to even move my fingers.”

I don’t know that I expected the test to be positive honestly. She’d come down with a 101 fever on Friday night and without ANY other symptom, I wondered if she had an ear infection from swimming at Disney, a UTI, or possibly Lyme. Covid wasn’t on my radar.

Thing is – Covid HAS been on my radar (and in my nightmares) since February 2020. Before most the world woke up to the danger of the pandemic, I was fretting on Twitter 17x a day looking for every scientific expert I could find to help me understand this mysterious virus ripping through China.

After 16 months of vigilance and super low positivity rates in Connecticut, my brain wore out of worry.

And then the test was positive. Like in MINUTES. I’d purchased an at home Covid test at Walgreens and knew it might not be reliable but false positives were rare. Ellie had Covid.

Downstairs my three other unvaccinated kids and three unvaccinated nieces and nephews were blissfully unaware.

My nightmare came true.

  • A child with a serious virus.
  • Me as the primary caregiver, forced to come face to face with one of my greatest anxieties.
  • 6 other kids to protect.

Something funny happened to me as I stared at that test…and I think it’s a business + life lesson we can all learn from.

I was calm.

I knew what to do, I set about to do it, and I told myself that I would have two criteria to watch for – fever and O2.

The 16 months of anxiety on the one hand had prepared me better than a lot of others because I knew so much by this point, but my anxiety also lied to me. It made me feel like I wouldn’t be able to handle it if it happened.

Now, 10 days later I can tell you that I managed to care for Ellie, keep my other kids away from harm, and handled five very hard days in the hospital.

I did handle it, and it was okay.

Your anxiety about anything – lost clients, sickness, relationship problems – don’t let it lie to you that you’re not strong enough. You are. And you won’t have the grace to face the crisis until the crisis, so wasting time and energy worrying about it will only deplete you. I’ve rehashed these truths in therapy over and over, and the past week and a half gave me a very tangible example to experience.

For the first three days post-knowing-it-was-covid, we did all the things at home you’re supposed to. Isolation, masks, O2 checks, temp checks, Vitamin C, Tylenol/Advil. And by Tuesday (this was now day 5 of fever), her temp started to dip and I crossed my fingers we were in the clear.

Wednesday it was clear we were not. I’ll never forget taking her to the pediatrician that morning. She was so nauseous and feverish (almost 103). The doctor was only willing to see her outside in the parking lot. I had a picnic blanket and put it under the shade of a tree so she could lay down and the doctor came out in full gear, looked and listened, and said, “This is the sickest kid we’ve seen.” She was sweating in the 90 degree heat and yet cold because of the fever.

I think right in that moment, I flashed back to every Facebook conversation and comment I had with covid conspiracy theorists, anti-maskers, and their ongoing argument that it wasn’t a big deal, especially for young kids.

I wanted to take the picture of her and blast it all over social media. I was enraged. Enraged at the anti-vax rhetoric that kept me from being able to vaccinate her, and every keyboard warrior that told me I was some fear monger.

She had no pre-existing conditions. No asthma.

The pediatrician said she was borderline for the hospital at 93% oxygen and to watch her every hour.

By 2pm, the 93 had dipped to 92, and off we went.

Sitting in the ER, the nurse wasn’t really convinced she was sick enough to stay. Her O2 on the main monitor was around 95, they said my at-home pulse ox probably wasn’t accurate, and her fever was down because of the motrin. Slightly worried that I had jumped the gun, we sat in the room for an hour while the Xray tech came in to check her chest.

Within 30 minutes, I had a text from the ER that she’d been admitted. Before I saw the doctor or any person told me, the automatic messaging system alerted me and I knew…she had pneumonia.

It was a flurry after that. An echo, blood drawn, and then she was brought to the 7th floor in a negative pressure room and admitted.

This whole time I was with Ellie. In fact, for about five days I felt like I was tempting fate (and my vaccine) every time I went to care for her. I might as well licked Covid off the floor.

Yes I was vaccinated, but still – to face a virus that’s making your child so very sick, watching everyone in the hospital dress up in full PPE while you’re sitting there with one dinky mask on, it messes with you. How was I not freaking out (yes even with a vax) that Ellie was essentially blowing Covid in my face with every breath?

And yet, I was calm. Tired and running on adrenaline, yes. But had you told me 18 months ago that I would be able to do what I just did…I would have laughed.

Remember, you don’t get the grace you need for the moment…until the moment. And then it’s there.

By the time she was admitted, I started posting updates on Facebook – so you can see the progression of her virus by just reading my timeline. I won’t bore everyone with the medical details, but the story has a great ending. After five days at the hospital, she’s home. Still pretty sick and weak, but fever free and breathing with more ease now.

None of the other 6 children have shown symptoms. Honestly I think the combination of me acting fast with her fever, masking her right away, isolating her with her own bathroom, and good filtration and sanitation – that’s what kept them all safe. That and every adult in the house was vaccinated so as I interacted with her, I didn’t carry it back (I was also incredibly careful). We’re “technically” not out of the quarantine period, but breathing much better now that it’s been 10 days since first symptoms appeared.

I understand that everyone is tired of Covid, but it’s still here, still dangerous, and yes – it does affect kids.

We have a follow up appt with the infectious disease team and pediatrician to monitor symptoms, make sure there’s no lung damage or relapse, and to help her get her strength back.

There were lots of other things I learned through this whole ordeal, but for now – for tonight – my message to anyone who struggles with anxiety or fear is this:

You will not have grace for the moment until it happens. Your anxiety lies to you and tells you that you can’t handle it, and you can. And you’ll surprise yourself when it happens. People will be there for you. Your adrenaline will kick in. Your brain will use a new set of rules to determine what’s important and what’s not, and most importantly… you’ll be okay.

xx Julie

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